VCCCD would like you to get to know the staff and faculty who contribute their time, talent & education to the success of our students. We will regularly highlight employees across all four campuses, sharing their professional expertise, their educational path, and a few fun facts about them.
Eric McDonald, Sr. Programmer/Analyst, District Office

Describe your position:  

I support and augment the District’s Banner ERP Student/Finance and third-party systems integration by providing software applications, process analysis and product support to college student, academic and business services staff. 

How long have you worked for the District?

Since 2016 (20 years prior to that I worked in a similar role at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo.)

Are you a VCCCD alum?

No, but I am a class of ‘78 College of Sequoias (Visalia, CA) alum. I went on to graduate from UCSB with a bachelor’s degree in marine biology in 1980 and complete a secondary sciences teaching credential in 1981. I also earned an MBA from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 1993.

 When you’re not working, what do you enjoy doing? 

My avocation is the sport of fencing, and I have enjoyed competing and teaching the sport since 1976. After volunteer coaching for the University of Oregon fencing club, I served as Cal Poly, SLO volunteer head coach for over 20 years and currently run a community-based, not-for-profit fencing club there. My other hobbies include solving Sudoku puzzles (the harder the better), reading (mostly sci-fi, fantasy, historical and military fiction), hiking (as I can find the time) and gardening and housework (when I have to).

 What do you find rewarding about your job or career? 

The most rewarding aspect of my job is helping college staff improve their business process, manage their data more effectively and address ever-changing regulatory requirements. I view this as my contribution to improving student services and outcomes. Another rewarding aspect is collaborating with IT colleagues from across the state. As a principal analyst for the statewide application project in 1999, I was instrumental in developing the design specifications for the California Community College CCCApply standard application. In 2018, I led a collaboration to transition the forms to a system used statewide by many colleges.

Do you do any volunteer work? If so, what? 

For most of my adult life, I have volunteered to bring the sport of fencing to kids and adults alike for little to no cost. One of the greatest joys in my life is seeing the mental and physical development of kids and teens as they grow to adulthood through the sport. In addition to learning a skill, my students learn to face their fears, problem solve, control their emotions and show respect. All invaluable life skills.

Two words to describe yourself:

Critical thinker … though my wife would probably say “Cat whisperer”

Bonus Question: What’s your favorite book?

Bernard Cornwell’s Richard Sharpe Series   

Image of Eric McDonald fencing with a student
Eric McDonald teaches kids invaluable life skills - problem solving, showing respect and controlling emotions - through fencing.


Employee Life
District Office